Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Radiation begins

I have a few more days of freedom before the radiation actually begins.  I plan out a wonderful weekend with my friend who is in town.  We go and catch a matinee of Moonrise Kingdom, what a delightful yet quirky movie packed with stars and nostalgia.  We were elbowing each other throughout the movie saying, "I remember that" or "my parents had that set in the house".  We go over to iHop and have lunch.  The doctor says that I should start eating a slab of meat once in a while along with some fish as it will help with the diarrhea and eating all fiber will not.  I take it this gives me permission to eat crappy once again and I go and have the big breakfast - buttermilk pancakes, eggs, hash browns.  Only a month ago I would have turned my nose up at food like this and today it's heavenly.

I bring my children's book in for her to read.  I have finally finished it after 35 years (yes, I don't do things on the fly you know) and it's ready to go to the Library of Congress to get registered and receive my ISBN number.  She gets to the dedication page and breaks into tears.  She loves it and turns every page reading and looking at the pictures like a child.  I was glowing.  So wonderful to share in a creation with a friend that loves it as much as you.  She has a bag of things to give to me, the most wonderful adult styled children's book called "The Guardians of Being" by Ekhardt Tolle, I will cherish forever.  We make plans to meet on Sunday for massages at the Nevada School of Massage. It's a two for one clinic and we both get the best massages of our lives!  It's off to Mimi's Cafe for lunch then to a girl's house on the other side of town to do my hair and make up for a photo shoot.  We get there late because she has slept in.  It takes way too long to get everything done, run out of time and we have to leave.  It's been a very special weekend and really takes my mind off of what I am going to be doing on Wednesday.

I try not to think too much about it the next two days, no more searching for answers and cures.  I have to walk in bravely and just do it.  I get there in plenty of time, sign in and have a seat.  They have a huge Thomas Kincaid puzzle on a table in the corner.   I sit down over there and study the painting and the progress.  Gotta stop thinking about what's going to happen to me next.  One of the therapists opens the door and says, "Are you ready?"  My knee jerk reaction is to think silently, "Are you insane?  Ready?!  Really?  Who's ready for radiation?  It's not like I am next in line for a ride at Disneyland!"  I smile and say "Sure."  I follow her back.  There is some smell in the hallway.  I don't know what it is but I think it's burning flesh.  I get all the way to the back down long halls and I see Kevin from my mapping appointment and I feel a lot more relaxed when I see him.  He's this young, good looking Filipino guy with this overgrown semi mohawk.  Looks like every Asian, skater dude in the Bay Area wearing tight pants with the chain wallet in a hoodie carrying a skateboard.  But he's in scrubs but still has the legs akimbo stance. We greet each other and I immediately feel more comfortable.  He has the table ready with my blue leg holder pillow and a rubber head cradle on yet another huge machine in a dark, spa lit room.  They place a nice clean sheet down so the table isn't cold.  I pull down my pants, swing around onto the table and they cover my yoni with a small white square of paper.  They make a lot of adjustments using the marks on my dancing hips and sacred vessel.  I feel the table move here and there and I am all lined up. They have this small boombox playing some crappy radio station of music I don't really care for but at least I can try to focus on anything but what's coming next.  I tell Kevin that I know that the doctor said I would be getting very low doses and that they will be building up over the course of the next few weeks.  I ask if he could please cut that dose in half and it can be our little secret.  He smiles like he is going to give in to my request then says, "Ahhhhhh no" and shakes his head.

They give me a small comfort ring to hold to keep my hands still across my chest.  They let me know they can hear and see me and not to worry, to call out to them if I need to.  The sides of the machine close in next to me.  There is a top and bottom portion and all these things rotate around me.  "The Plan" knows exactly where to radiate me based on the mapping.   I hear whirring and movement and I go into a meditative state and start to pray.  Guide their hands and oversee their calculations, let the dose kill the cancer and leave the rest alone and undamaged.  I have my eyes closed but I hear the sound when the radiation is given.  Just like getting an x-ray, this sound goes off for 10 seconds four times, each time the machine rotates around me, stops and gives me another dose - from the back, the front, the sides.  Then one of the techs comes in and puts in this plate that angles the beam to the exact location and I get two more doses, each about 12 seconds.  I hear the door which is literally 12 inches thick, open and they come in.  It's all over.  They pull me out from the machine, help me to a sitting position, and Kevin says to me, "Hey are you crying?"  I pull up my pants and put on my shoes.  I explain that I could feel my son very strongly in the room with me.  I let them know he died recently and I'm still not over it.  I complain about the crappy music and Kevin says he will request another one for me and I can bring in my own music to play if I like.  I tell them I'll see them tomorrow and the next few days go just like that.  I don't notice much difference, just like getting a prolonged xray.  Three days are down out of the twenty-five external treatments.  Still feeling good, healthy, still doing Zumba.

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